January 2010.

George Wright is a freelance photographer living near my local town of Bridport in Dorset.
On the 23rd January, at the Bridport Arts Centre and accompanied by the writer Horatio Morpurgo, George gave a very interesting talk, in a relaxed, fluid style, explaining his influences and photographic career. This was to coincide with an exhibition of George’s recent work upstairs at The Allsop Gallery

George giving the talk, along with Horatio Morpurgo on the left, looking at one of the illustrative slides.

Having gone to Art School to study Graphic Design, George became interested in photography and was very influenced by a visiting tutor, the photojournalist John Benton-Harris who introduced him to the work of photographers like Tony Ray Jones and Robert Frank. He says, like everyone else at that time (err…including me!), he then wanted to be either Cartier-Bresson or Don McCullin.

He ended up doing both reportage and portraiture stories for The Observer and later The Independent Colour Magazines.
I came across a one of George’s self published books a year or so ago featuring portraits of famous people that George had shot for these colour magazines and I loved the fact that they weren’t any ‘headshots’, but were more perhaps in the style of Arnold Neumann’s ‘Environmental Portraits’.
That’s a silly phrase but it has been used to define the style of portraiture that shows the subject ‘in context’, usually surrounded by something relevant like their artworks for instance. George’s images were often shot in a mixture of natural ambient light and flash which I like to see. I think those portrait photographer’s who shy away from using any flash at all and only rely on daylight are perhaps scared to take total control of their image!

The current exhibition shows photographs taken between 2013 and 2019, during George’s travels on his motorbike. Hence the title ‘Another Way of Life as Seen on a Motorcycle’. These are images taken throughout South America, in Armenia, Iran, Sarajevo, Uzbekistan and India amongst others.

One photo is taken earlier however, 1979 in Aleppo. It’s this one of a ‘local portrait photographer’ and George has dedicated the exhibition to him.

The exhibition runs until the 15th February and The Art’s Centre in Bridport is open 10am to 4 pm.

Do visit George Wright’s website to see his work.

I liked many of the images for the little details they contained, such as the interior of a restaurant in Esfahan, filled with people. The sort of picture in which you notice something different every time you view it.
I’m also particularly partial to one of George’s images that shows a large group of Orthodox Jews resting at Hardy’s Monument, nearby here in West Dorset. That’s not something we see here very often, so I can’t guess how he came across that group of visitors to take that wonderful photograph.


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